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Russian invasion of Ukraine

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**1. Background and Context of the Conflict:**
Ukraine signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1994.
– The Budapest Memorandum supported Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
Russia expressed concerns over Ukraine’s NATO relations.
– NATO hinted at potential inclusion of Ukraine in the future.
– Tensions escalated after Ukraine withdrew from an EU agreement in 2013.
– Protests in Ukraine led to Yanukovych’s removal and the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014.

**2. Russian Invasion and Military Operations:**
– Russian-backed separatists seized Crimea and started the War in Donbas in 2014.
– Russian military build-up around Ukraine was observed in December 2021.
– The invasion began on 24 February 2022, with a ground and air campaign across Ukraine.
– Russian forces faced strong Ukrainian resistance, especially in key cities.
– Russian forces attempted to encircle Kyiv but faced limitations along the Dnipro River.

**3. International Response and Diplomatic Efforts:**
– The UN General Assembly condemned the invasion in March 2022.
– Many countries imposed sanctions on Russia and Belarus.
– The ICC opened investigations into possible war crimes and genocide.
– Macron and Scholz attempted to prevent war through diplomatic efforts.
– Zelenskyy called for Western powers to drop appeasement towards Moscow.

**4. Military Strategies and Fronts:**
– Four fronts were opened by Russian forces in Ukraine.
– Disparities in artillery capabilities were evident between Russian and Ukrainian forces.
– The conflict experts had differing opinions on the future of the conflict.
– US and allied nations discussed forming a coalition to support Ukraine economically and militarily.
– US President Biden indicated providing enhanced artillery support to Ukraine.

**5. Developments, Impact, and Future Outlook:**
– Extensive destruction by the invasion would cause immense financial damage to Ukraine.
Ukraine estimated needing $750bn for a recovery plan.
– Ukrainian reconstruction and economy were severely impacted by the conflict.
– Russian oligarchs were urged to contribute to the costs of Ukraine’s recovery.
– US and allied nations discussed providing military supplies and refitting to Ukraine for an extended conflict period.

Russian invasion of Ukraine
Part of the Russo-Ukrainian War (outline)

Map of Ukraine as of 2 April 2024 (details):
  Continuously controlled by Ukraine
Date24 February 2022 – present
(2 years, 1 month, 2 weeks and 3 days)
Ukraine, Russia, Black Sea
Status Ongoing (list of engagements · territorial control · timeline of events)
Supported by:
Commanders and leaders
Units involved
Order of battle Order of battle
Pre-invasion at border:
Pre-invasion total:
900,000 military
554,000 paramilitary
In February 2023:
300,000+ active personnel in Ukraine
Pre-invasion total:
196,600 military
102,000 paramilitary
July 2022 total:
up to 700,000
September 2023 total:
over 800,000
Casualties and losses
Reports vary widely, see § Casualties for details.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine in an escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War that started in 2014. The invasion became the largest attack on a European country since World War II. It is estimated to have caused tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilian casualties and hundreds of thousands of military casualties. By June 2022, Russian troops occupied about 20% of Ukrainian territory. From a population of 41 million in January 2022, about 8 million Ukrainians had been internally displaced and more than 8.2 million had fled the country by April 2023, creating Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II. Extensive environmental damage caused by the war, widely described as an ecocide, contributed to food crises worldwide.

Before the invasion, Russian troops massed near Ukraine's borders as Russian officials denied any plans to attack. Russian president Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" to support the Russian-backed breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, whose paramilitary forces had been fighting Ukraine in the Donbas conflict since 2014. Putin espoused irredentist views challenging Ukraine's right to exist, and falsely claimed that Ukraine was governed by neo-Nazis persecuting the Russian minority. He said his goal was to "demilitarise and denazify" Ukraine. Russian air strikes and a ground invasion were launched at a northern front from Belarus towards Kyiv, a southern front from Crimea, and an eastern front from the Donbas and towards Kharkiv. Ukraine enacted martial law, ordered a general mobilisation and severed diplomatic relations with Russia.

Russian troops retreated from the northern front by April 2022 after encountering logistical challenges and stiff Ukrainian resistance. On the southern and southeastern fronts, Russia captured Kherson in March and Mariupol in May after a destructive siege. Russia launched a renewed offensive in the Donbas and continued to bomb military and civilian targets far from the front line, including the energy grid through the winter. In late 2022, Ukraine launched successful counteroffensives in the south and east. Soon after, Russia announced the illegal annexation of four partly occupied regions. In November, Ukraine retook parts of Kherson Oblast, including the city of Kherson itself. In June 2023, Ukraine launched another counteroffensive in the southeast, which by the end of the year had petered out with only small amounts of territory retaken.

The invasion was met with international condemnation. The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning the invasion and demanding a full Russian withdrawal in March 2022. The International Court of Justice ordered Russia to suspend military operations and the Council of Europe expelled Russia. Many countries imposed sanctions on Russia and its ally Belarus, and provided humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine. The Baltic states all declared Russia a terrorist state. Protests occurred around the world, along with mass arrests of anti-war protesters in Russia, which also enacted a law enabling greater media censorship. Over 1,000 companies closed their operations in Russia and Belarus as a result of the invasion. The International Criminal Court (ICC) opened investigations into possible crimes against humanity, war crimes, abduction of children, and genocide. The court issued four arrest warrants in that regard: for Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova in March 2023, alleging responsibility for the unlawful deportation of children, as well as for commanders Sergey Kobylash and Viktor Sokolov in 2024, alleging war crimes.

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